Shovels In Spades

by Lone

Original ONGOING Action Fantasy Romance Tragedy Anti-Hero Lead Dungeon LitRPG Low Fantasy Magic Male Lead Non-Human lead Post Apocalyptic Ruling Class Secret Identity Strong Lead Supernatural
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

We all have dreams of becoming powerful, becoming the cool mage that rules the world, living as the dashing rogue who can steal a kingdom's entire royal treasury undetected, or perhaps, the valiant knight whose prowess on the battlefield is unmatched by all. 

However, when the apocalypse strikes, you can only use what you have at your disposal, be that guns, baseball bats, your fists, or maybe, just maybe, a shovel.

One young man who goes by the name of Darenzo has just had his world altered into one that is now the focal point of some sort of experiment.

Just at the end of his shift at the skip site, a worldwide announcement was made, that not only changed Darenzo's life, but also the lives of all of the Earth's inhabitants.

Can Darenzo survive and thrive in this changed world? Or will his growing madness best him? The answers to these questions can only be revealed with time.

[Guaranteed 2 chapters per week, the only exceptions being announced breaks or emergencies]


(The new cover art is a courtesy of the very kind and talented ssddx and was designed using the fanart cover of cthulupillar as the base.)


This novel is a participant in The Writer's Pledge

[Image: SSyXrQz.png]

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Author
Lone

Lone

The Scottish Slothy Sloth

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Book 1 Prologue: Change and Shovel ago
Book 1 Chapter 1: Building and Fusion ago
Book 1 Chapter 2: Traps and Rage ago
Book 1 Chapter 3: Merits and Sleep ago
Book 1 Chapter 4: Base and Clothes ago
Book 1 Chapter 5: Status and Jewel ago
Book 1 Chapter 6: Rimmy and Robbing ago
Book 1 Chapter 7: Seal and Platinum ago
Book 1 Chapter 8: Temptress and Confusion ago
Book 1 Chapter 9: Faith and Offer ago
Book 1 Chapter 10: Poison and Charisma ago
Book 1 Chapter 11: Question and Return ago
Book 1 Chapter 12: Stupid and Restored ago
Book 1 Chapter 13: God and Crippled ago
Book 1 Chapter 14: Smash and Suspicion ago
Book 1 Chapter 15: Princess and Anacusis ago
Book 1 Chapter 16: Respect and Perks ago
Book 1 Chapter 17: Citizen and Buffer ago
Book 1 Chapter 18: Court and Motivation ago
Book 1 Chapter 19: Wall and Earthquake ago
Book 1 Chapter 20: Cabin and Lighthouse ago
Book 1 Chapter 21: Suggestions and Requirements ago
Book 1 Chapter 22: Upgrade and Charity ago
Book 1 Chapter 23: Exhaustion and Note ago
Book 1 Chapter 24: Box and Safe ago
Book 1 Chapter 25: Syringe and Return ago
Book 1 Chapter 26: Baseball and Event ago
Book 1 Chapter 27: Respect and Transfusion ago
Book 1 Chapter 28: Crocs and Rash ago
Book 1 Chapter 29: Ring and Mithril ago
Book 1 Chapter 30: Leader and Food ago
Book 1 Chapter 31: Conical and Enfield ago
Book 1 Chapter 32: Hamson and Return ago
Book 1 Chapter 33: Matt and Dorian ago
Book 1 Chapter 34: Consumption and Life ago
Book 1 Chapter 35: Rimmy and I ago
Book 1 Chapter 36: Choice and Changes ago
Book 1 Chapter 37: Jesters and Fort ago
Book 1 Chapter 38: Fiona and Villain ago
Book 1 Chapter 39: Fun and Crafting ago
Book 1 Chapter 40: Failure and Levels ago
Book 1 Chapter 41: Pride and Split ago
Book 1 Chapter 42: Cube and Table ago
Book 1 Chapter 43: Tome and Stress ago
Book 1 Chapter 44: Graveyard and Cecil ago
Book 1 Chapter 45: Pala and Gods ago
Book 1 Chapter 46: Candle and Reality ago
Book 1 Chapter 47: Jorden and Harvesting ago
Book 1 Chapter 48: Trench and Volunteers ago
Book 1 Chapter 49: Crusher and Plan ago
Book 1 Chapter 50: Og and Denied ago
Book 1 Chapter 51: Gravity and Tide ago
Book 1 Chapter 52: Illusion and Damage ago
Book 1 Chapter 53: Confidence and Cyanide ago
Book 1 Chapter 54: Fear and Danger ago
Book 1 Chapter 55: Wound and Vine ago
Book 1 Chapter 56: Towel and Smile ago
Book 1 Chapter 57: Mave and Dream ago
Book 1 Chapter 58: Crushed and Conclusion ago
Book 1 Chapter 59: Absolute and Return ago
Book 1 Chapter 60: Punishment and Thanks ago
Book 1 Chapter 61: Mini and Endearing ago
Book 1 Chapter 62: Questions and Luck ago
Book 1 Chapter 63: Design and Past ago
Book 1 Chapter 64: Rankings and Changes ago
Book 1 Chapter 65: Loyalty and Speech ago
Book 1 Chapter 66: Laws and Request ago
Book 1 Chapter 67: Agreements and Butterfly ago
Book 1 Chapter 68: Size and Walls ago
Book 1 Chapter 69: Upgrades and Guesses ago
Book 1 Chapter 70: Mayor and Miller ago
Book 1 Chapter 71: Girly and Knife ago
Book 1 Chapter 72: Departure and Condo ago
Book 1 Chapter 73: Survivors and Soldiers ago
Book 1 Chapter 74: Acquisition and Rearming ago
Book 1 Chapter 75: Kabatay and Demands ago
Book 1 Chapter 76: Shark and Snipers ago
Book 1 Chapter 77: Sentence and M939 ago
Book 1 Chapter 78: Shock and Thoughts ago
Book 1 Chapter 79: Ahab and Threat ago
Book 1 Chapter 80: Relationship and Exchange ago
Book 1 Chapter 81: Barrier and Gab ago
Book 1 Chapter 82: Gloves and Roger ago
Book 1 Chapter 83: Mansion and Rose ago
Book 1 Chapter 84: Warning and Information ago
Book 1 Chapter 85: Emotion and Hindsight ago
Book 1 Chapter 86: Stats and Resistances ago
Book 1 Chapter 87: Training and Database ago
Book 1 Chapter 88: Trust and Hug ago
Book 1 Chapter 89: Guilt and Pipes ago
Book 1 Chapter 90: Meeting and Four ago
Book 1 Chapter 91: Line and Lasers ago
Book 1 Chapter 92: Ease and Phases ago
Book 1 Chapter 93: Plan and Deadlift ago
Book 1 Chapter 94: Defeat and Slice ago
Book 1 Chapter 95: Tears and Hope ago
Book 1 Chapter 96: Struggle and Madison ago
Book 1 Epilogue: Puzzle and Dream ago
BOOK 1'S CHARACTER TABLE SHEET ago
BOOK 1'S BASE AND NON-CHARACTER RELATED TABLE SHEET ago
Book 2 Prologue: Aila and Punishment ago
Book 2 Chapter 1: Beater and Titan ago
Book 2 Chapter 2: Gestures and Broken ago
Book 2 Chapter 3: Watermelon and Whiskey ago
Book 2 Chapter 4: Cute and Tower ago
Book 2 Chapter 5: Lightning and Need ago
Book 2 Chapter 6: Rebuilding and Status ago
Book 2 Chapter 7: Barracks and Smithy ago
Book 2 Chapter 8: Quests and Announcements ago
Book 2 Chapter 9: Useless and Bullies ago
Book 2 Chapter 10: Dungeon and Medals ago
Book 2 Chapter 11: Pursuer and Replacement ago
Book 2 Chapter 12: Books and Bonus ago
Book 2 Chapter 13: Teens and Cages ago
Book 2 Chapter 14: Bravery and Captives ago
Book 2 Chapter 15: Rocky and Vincent ago
Book 2 Chapter 16: Storybooks and Deranged ago
Book 2 Chapter 17: Citizens and Peace ago
CHARACTER TABLE SHEET as of Book 2 Chapter 17 ago
BASE/NON-CHARACTER RELATED TABLE SHEET as of Book 2 Chapter 17 ago
Book 2 Chapter 18: Passion and Underwhelmed ago
Book 2 Chapter 19: Reika and Hamson ago
Book 2 Chapter 20: Rankings and Moustache ago
Book 2 Chapter 21: Stats and Arrest ago
Book 2 Chapter 22: Changes and Chicken ago
Book 2 Chapter 23: Titan and Chips ago
Book 2 Chapter 24: Foot and Bank ago
Book 2 Chapter 25: Changes and Entertainer ago
Book 2 Chapter 26: Food and Concoction ago
Book 2 Chapter 27: Humvee and Smoke ago
Book 2 Chapter 28: Benjamin and Trench ago
Book 2 Chapter 29: Crater and Edward ago
Book 2 Chapter 30: Scouts and Bunker ago
Book 2 Chapter 31: M1 Abrams and Bonus ago
Book 2 Chapter 32: Rebirth and Hand-cannon ago
Book 2 Chapter 33: Snapping and Deal ago
Book 2 Chapter 34: Departure and Return ago
Book 2 Chapter 35: Sister and Parents ago
Book 2 Chapter 36: Barbarossa and Resolve ago
Book 2 Chapter 37: Brother and Anger ago
Book 2 Chapter 38: Evolution and Status ago
Book 2 Chapter 39: Chains and Rage ago
Book 2 Chapter 40: Bonfire and Friendship ago
Book 2 Chapter 41: Citizens and Growth ago
Book 2 Chapter 42: Vibrations and Feeling ago
Book 2 Chapter 43: One Monster and Bound ago
Book 2 Chapter 44: Hollow Victory and Great Loss ago
Book 2 Chapter 45: Newfound Grief and Warranted Guilt ago
Book 2 Chapter 46: Funeral and Phoenix Heart ago
Book 2 Chapter 47: Aila and Text ago
Book 2 Chapter 48: Pondside Talk and Lizardman Attack ago
Book 2 Chapter 49: Slap and Absorption ago
Book 2 Chapter 50: Terms and Distraction ago
Book 2 Chapter 51: Fusion and Voice ago
Book 2 Chapter 52: New Citizens and Bob ago
Book 2 Chapter 53: God Facts and Heat ago
Book 2 Chapter 54: City Lord and Rimmy's Core ago
Book 2 Chapter 55: Morte and Shen Mu ago
Book 2 Chapter 56: Magical Skills and Laughing Skull ago
Book 2 Chapter 57: Lovers Duel and Shovel Arts ago
Book 2 Chapter 58: Ellie Richie and The Watching Gods ago
Book 2 Chapter 59: Mountainous Eruption and Greater Telekinesis ago
Book 2 Chapter 60: Cleaning Up and Second Wave ago
Book 2 Chapter 61: Battle Plan and Death Magic ago
Book 2 Chapter 62: Multicoloured Skull and Diving Titan ago
Book 2 Chapter 63: Reinstated Advisor and Disgruntled Mu ago
Book 2 Chapter 64: Future Project and Useless City ago
Book 2 Chapter 65: Base Upgrades and Keep ago
Book 2 Chapter 66: System's Displeasure and Mu's Arrival ago
Book 2 Chapter 67: Negotiations and It's Not Over Yet ago
Book 2 Chapter 68: Rimmy's Fighting Resolve and Unbridled Rage ago
Book 2 Chapter 69: Morte's Will and Racial Adjustments ago
Book 2 Chapter 70: Teasing Maddy and Expedition to Middletown ago
Book 2 Chapter 71: Lich Stats and Daz's Beginning ago
Book 2 Chapter 72: Teleportation Relay and Ellie's Request ago
Book 2 Chapter 73: Advice and Golden Tickets ago
Book 2 Chapter 74: System's Attention and Esper Abilities ago
Book 2 Chapter 75: Daz's Abilities and Ho Ran ago
Book 2 Chapter 76: Big Bo and Golf Game ago
Book 2 Chapter 77: Charts and Daz's Counteroffer ago
Book 2 Chapter 78: Merit Points and Uriel ago
Book 2 Chapter 79: Fiona's Nerves and The Keep's Rooms ago
Book 2 Chapter 80: The Scottish Full-English and The Lottery Winner ago
Madison Artwork + Poll For Next Artwork ago
Book 2 Chapter 81: System's Description Blockade and Bob's Growth ago
Book 2 Chapter 82: Bob's Words and Mu's Crimes ago
Book 2 Chapter 83: Daz's Crimes and A Clone's Worries ago
Book 2 Epilogue: A Thank You and First-time Lust ago
Book 3 Prologue: Venice and Plans ago
Book 3 Chapter 1: Grave Butchering and Completed Records ago
Book 3 Chapter 2: Rimmy's Fans and Sally ago
Book 3 Chapter 3: Steven's Approaches and Poor Timing ago
Book 3 Chapter 4: Private School and Racial Change ago
Book 3 Chapter 5: Holy Cross and Gambit's Signet ago
Book 3 Chapter 6: Alien Laptop and Dice Set ago
Book 3 Chapter 7: Translation Skill and Fighting Ring ago
Book 3 Chapter 8: Champion of Quarterstaves and Test of Strength ago
Book 3 Chapter 9: Mu's Cardboard and Madison's New Worries ago
Book 3 Chapter 10: Data Tracker and The General Auction's Start ago
Book 3 Chapter 11: Pheldorapod and A VR Capsule ago
Book 3 Chapter 12: Achievements and Cold Reunion ago
Character Popularity Poll ago
Book 3 Chapter 13: Red Lightning and Davido's Joy ago
Book 3 Chapter 14: Skill Cap and Successful Cracking ago
Book 3 Chapter 15: Class Upgrade Token and Larry Billard ago
Book 3 Chapter 16: Nearing Level Three and Merit Ranking ago
Book 3 Chapter 17: Slot Machine Shakedown and Split-consciousness ago
Book 3 Chapter 18: Winning Streak and Strange Family ago
Book 3 Chapter 19: A Request For Crusher and Hsiao-Han ago
Book 3 Chapter 20: War and Total Evolvers ago
Book 3 Chapter 21: Ruler Auction and Final Item ago
Book 3 Chapter 22: Pheldorapod's Considerations and 25-Million ago
Book 3 Chapter 23: Class Change and Existing Skill Upgrades ago
Book 3 Chapter 24: Crystal and Rimmy Gets Some Upgrades ago
Book 3 Chapter 25: Upgraded Classes and Friends Fighting ago
Book 3 Chapter 26: Contracting Gems and Third King ago
Book 3 Chapter 27: Rimmy's Growing Fanbase and Flying Trial ago
Book 3 Chapter 28: Flying Results and Sword Mastery Challenge ago
Book 3 Chapter 29: New Promise and Weakness Trial ago
Book 3 Chapter 30: Krishan Ladakh and Updated Ranking ago
Book 3 Chapter 31: Worldeater and Maddy's Success ago
Book 3 Chapter 32: Mr Barrier and Secret Override ago
Book 3 Chapter 33: Pala's Determination and Hamson The Spade ago
Book 3 Chapter 34: Merit Star and Baggage ago
Book 3 Chapter 35: Tokens Galore and Merit Point Averages ago
Book 3 Chapter 36: Unfortunate Andre and The Second Lot ago
Book 3 Chapter 37: Crusher's Success and Xiao Meimei ago
Book 3 Chapter 38: Grand Proclamation and Headache ago
Daz Art + Rose Art ago
Book 3 Chapter 39: Champion of Cooking and Excruciating Pain ago
Book 3 Chapter 40: Battle Axe and Rose's Warning ago
Book 3 Chapter 41: A Father's Twisted Pride and The Auction's Conclusion ago
Book 3 Chapter 42: Shift Locking and Naming ago
Book 3 Chapter 43: Passives and Pouting Madison ago
Book 3 Chapter 44: William's Loyalty and Third Set of Walls ago
Book 3 Chapter 45: Welcome Speech and B-ranked Base ago
Book 3 Chapter 46: Different Universes and City Choosing ago
Book 3 Chapter 47: Fort Sky and GriD CrosS ago
Fort Sky Art + Crusher Art ago
Book 3 Chapter 48: Crusher's Threat and Rose's Visit to The Station ago
Book 3 Chapter 49: Visit to Turtle Island and Talks of Tea ago
Book 3 Chapter 50: Pool and Madison's Status ago
Book 3 Chapter 51: Alteration and Fiona's Struggle ago
Book 3 Chapter 52: Praying and Status Tweaking ago
Book 3 Chapter 53: New Quest and Choice Selections ago
Book 3 Chapter 54: Bei Fan and Secret Observers ago
Early Davido Hamilio Art + Minor Announcement ago
Book 3 Chapter 55: Scavengers and Jeremy ago
Book 3 Chapter 56: Mirroring and Soul Independence ago
Book 3 Chapter 57: Sovereigns and Candy ago
Book 3 Chapter 58: Daz's Solution and Useless Gloves ago
Book 3 Chapter 59: Amanda & Alek and Airship Engineer ago
Book 3 Chapter 60: Promises and The Loser Fool ago
Book 3 Chapter 61: Daz's Offer and Evil Ruffians ago
Book 3 Chapter 62: Resurrection and Spirit Formation ago
Book 3 Chapter 63: Soul Corrosion and First Official Complaint ago
Book 3 Chapter 64: Idris' Upset and Madison's Hug ago
Book 3 Chapter 65: Rose's Plans and Big Bo's Second Contract Offer ago
Book 3 Chapter 66: Talks of Loans and Bank Upgrades ago
Book 3 Chapter 67: Fighting Clones and Personalities ago
Reviews

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Lysate
  • Overall Score
  • Spoiler: Spoiler

     

Z-Blink
  • Overall Score

Because it's full of stat windows, the plot moves at snail's pace.
If I wanted to read game manual/log, I would.
Not today tho

Dassina
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Pros:

Story is an interesting concept.

Characters tend to be relatively plausible. MC is interesting. Author is attempting to add more nuance to other characters, including their motivations and thoughts.

Grammar and spelling are good. Overall I applaud the author for actually ensuring the sentences are readable and polished, something lacking in many others.

Cons:

Story has at least one plot-hole I spotted. Although, it is possible that hole may end up being a plot point later on.

The author has been trying to convey side character thoughts in order to add addition frames of reference to the plot as well as to flesh out their personalities. Unfortunately these internal monologues are a bit exaggerated, like an anime character. An example would be how the military grunts think or speak about their general. I think the author had the right idea to attempt this, but this dialogue / monologue needs a little attention.

Below addresses the perceived plot-hole, potentially spoiler issues, as well as addressing another review’s issues.

 

Spoiler: Spoiler

 

 

Max Scherer
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I recommend reading the story if you like the premise. Yeah the first book has flaws and the MCs does pretty dumb stuff and his interactions with other people is in my opinioen pretty shitty. But the Rest is rather good. The System is an intersting take for the classic RPG system in such novels and has a minor flaws in the beginning, but is overall pretty good. So if you like the system dont quit in book 1 and read further. Book 2 is really well written and one of the best characters in this story only shows up at the end of book 1 and this person is worth it(I admitt that i am a bit biased, because i really really like this character...).

Jordanj1
  • Overall Score

One of the best apocalypse lit rpg I have read in a long while, this arises from the hard work of the author to keep character development a priority and the resistance of making daz more op than needed. To improve I'd say possibly longer chapters but the release schedule means that words per week is actually higher than most which when combined with the multiple stories they write is impressive keep up the good work lazy-notlazy-author

MrHrulgin
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A great concept failed by poor character and plot.

I like the world, I like the way that the competition expands and the fight to protect the population while fighting your way higher in the rankings.

 

I can't stand the people. The personalities are one-note, never getting any deeper than a single character trait and shifting without any real explanation. 

 

There's never significant tension. Challenges arise only to be immediately crushed, and by a little bit into the second book (where the author said it would get better) the protagonist has mind control powers, the best base in the world, is super strong, has ladies falling over themselves around him, men worshipping him... it's wish fulfillment that never goes anywhere. "Oh, there's a dungeon? Let me just waltz in and crush it, no problems!" "Oh, there's a rival base nearby? Let me mind control the leader there!"

 

There is neither buildup nor payoff, and I'm done.

SleepyWriter
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Issues with MC and characters

I would first like to start with that I think this story has good potential and I'm really impressed and respect fact that the author has written almost 1k pages. That takes a lot of dedication, time, and effort. The System is kinda interesting and fun, even if we don't get to see most of it. The premise that only people who holds a weapon isn't turned into a monster is odd, but it's new and I kinda like it even if it's a weird logic. Gives plenty of potential for weird classes that I find really amusing, rather than everyone using the same old warrior swordsman mage builds, the system gives classes a lot of diversity since you can buy skills.

Keep that in mind as I rant about some things that bothers me, but I still think this is a fun read.

 

Anyways, I've read a few hundred pages now, and am currently on chapter 76 of book 1 at the time of this review. I like the story, I love Litrpgs, but I can't get over the MC and the other characters. They basically have one personality traits that keeps being slammed into our faces every other line with them in it. Ger mentions his daughter and is used as a reason for everything he does, as if he can't formulate his own opinion and thoughts without them. The heroin Addict is loyal to an obessive amount to Daz for no reason and also shows no backlash or withdrawal. The characters are so inhuman in their reaction it's actually really off putting. Daz suffers from this the most actually. Chapter One states he doesn't care about anyone besides his sister and parents, but suddenly he becomes Yandere for his summon. He also has very sudden and intense personality changes from murderous rage to then false caring and kindness, and yet nobody is questioning this cartoon-like bipolarism. And they also fall for his charismatic act even though his action and previous words prior to it would be suspicous as heck.

For example "I'm not going to personally kill the gang leader because I want to get the other survivors to trust me and join my fort" 

*Proceeds to use his demonic shovel to literally eat the dude alive, orders his golem to kill five people, and gives no more fucks about the other people running away*

It also mentions his calculative mind a lot but he seems to waste his points and poorly plans things out.

He is rapidly adding people to his fort even though it massively increases how hard the attacks are. He literally only has 4 combatants, and he almost died to the previous wave. He and them haven't really improved their combat abilities, and yet he goes to get more people. He hasn't tried to sort everyone out and is kinda going with the flow. I don't get how he is "Neutral" in alignment either, nor why he hasn't searched or attempted to call his sister or parents now that he has some power and is clearly full of free time since he doesn't require sleep anymore.

Ringostrauss
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Review title says it all.  Sometimes you just want to read some brain candy.  The real world is filled with complications and mirky grey areas.  You don't always want the same thing in your entertainment.

Thankyou for providing some pure unadulterated entertainment.  This has been added to my book shelf and I wil read it as you write it.  You seem to have a good grasp of the genre. THanks for your effort.

docsumac
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Movie Theatre Popcorn Reading

This is one of those stories that confuses me on a personal level, because I don't know if I can coherently explain why I like it. I can come up a reason to NOT like it, yet I've read the whole damn thing from Start to Book 3 Chapter 21 over the course of a few days. 

So let's get the bad bit out of the way. 

The characters are universally Weird, and I've capitalized that W with intent. I'm going to try to provide a sanitized, non-spoilery example here out of respect for potential readers. If the author feels this is giving too much away, I'll happily edit at his request.

My take: The MC is a semi-reformed sociopath, with a disabled super-genius little sister, and a jailbait girlfriend with a speech impediment. All of them have mysterious powers and horribly traumatic backgrounds BEFORE the usual distribution of classes and skills and magic doodads turns everyone into sword and sorcery alphas. The other characters up and down the line have me wondering if the "now you're a game world" event killed every person with a modicum of sanity on day zero. For the life of me, I can't think of a single character that doesn't come across as being nuttier than squirrel poo. 

So that's the bad.

AND YET. The author has something. It's a very similar feeling to Legend of Randidly Ghosthound, a summer blockbuster movie style of reading where you just check your common sense at the door and have some damn fun for once. Then next thing you know the bloody movie makes a trillion dollars worldwide.

So I leave my usual cynicism outside the theatre. I reach in for another handful of that salty, fake butter popcorn and just enjoy the ride. I read the latest chapter within a couple hours of it posting. And YES, I give this lunacy five stars. 

Moobles
  • Overall Score

A fun story with a less than sane main character

It's fun reading about slightly insane characters, because you as a reader is often surprised at what happens. "Oh you're not attacking me yet? I'll patiently wait for what you are waiting for".

Not to mention the fact that this creates a rather interesting character dynamic between the maincharacter and his summoned Golem, the golem unable to speak talks through head-bobbing, the main character either great at interpretation or slightly insane ofcourse understands the golem perfectly.

 

Really just a fun story, you should read it. (also the author has stated that he didn't have previous knowledge of the game "Shovel-knight", that fact included with the incredibly broad term that a "Shovel-Knight" could be I believe he is right in using the 'original' tag.